Jesus Christ modeled the true Christian life for us two thousand years ago, and the great I AM personally empowers Christians to live it now, moment by moment, via the indwelling Holy Spirit deep within.
The only power on earth or in heaven which can stop a Christian from being perfect as God is perfect is his own natural/fallen self, his outer man – no person or circumstance can effectually stop him except himself by way of his own will. Christ overcame Satan, and neither he nor any other demon can stop a Christian of themselves – the Christian must open the door to demonic influences and allow them access by sinning. Obviously, if no supernatural beings can stop a Christian without the Christian giving them access, then no natural person can stop a Christian from being perfect as God is perfect either.
Yes, it is God’s design that the only force in all of heaven and earth which can arrest Him from operating in and through a Christian is that Christian’s own will – that is, what remains of that Christian’s sinful/”soulish” nature – his outer man.
Christians overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony, the testimony being behavior which demonstrates that we do not love our natural/”soulish” lives so much as to shrink from their death (Revelation 12:11). We overcome what remains of our outer selves by fixing our eyes not on them or our trying circumstances, but on our new true selves united in spirit with the glorified Lord, Christ Jesus, indwelling the very core of our beings (2 Cor. 4:17-18; 5:17).
By grace through faith in Christ alone, we overcome our natural/”soulish” selves, the outer man. Overcoming in Christ is never overcoming the persons God sends our way that the sinful nature finds offensive, but is overcoming through the indwelling Holy Spirit our own outer man so offended – all such persons are simply instruments in the hands of the sovereign Lord!
We fight grace far more than we realize when we focus on ourselves and not Christ, from whom and through whom are all things, including circumstances (see Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:17).
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer… Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
So very much love in Christ, your sister deanna
Written February 25, 2015
8 thoughts on “Overcoming Self in Christ”
I’m looking forward to following your blog! I start my day in God’s Word. My husband and I do a Bible study together after breakfast. We travel full time now, so we visit churches every Sunday-usually Baptist. We’ve been members of 3 churches over 30 years in three different states (job relocation). While we miss being involved, we believe the Lord is given us a time of reflection and learning before we settle down and stop traveling-then reconnect. My husband always moved up in his role as Deacon. They burned him out last church by keeping him as the Chairman for 4 years. We’ve been so encouraged, seeing the continuity of the Holy Spirit as we travel. We pray we’re as blessing as we visit and they are a blessing to us.
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Welcome, Debbie and Mr. L.! Praise God for you two, and that you start the day in His word TOGETHER as you travel! Love that you see the continuity of the Holy Spirit – the glorious Body of Christ! God is so incomprehensibly good to us. I am humbled you are following along. Consider reading the previous posts from the Menu (button upper left on the Bluebonnet opening page) in order to enjoy the larger landscape images accompanying each piece; they help me in meditating on the Scriptures.
Reblogged this on The Lord Is With Us and commented:
God bless you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ! For those of you who have recently discovered The Lord Is With Us, here is the first Word of Encouragement the Lord led me to write…
Hi Deanna. I think a lot about the power of God’s sovereignty versus my will. Which is stronger? God or my will? The answer is God of course. But your blog states that by God’s design, He made it so that the only thing that would “arrest” His grace is my will. So what I am gathering out of this is that even though God is stronger than my will, He allows my will to override His grace. But can’t His grace, by His sovereignty, overcome my will?
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Just want to clarify something. I do not want my will to differ from God’s. I surrender to His will! Praise Him! It’s just when sin occurs in my life, it’s my will and I repent. This is just a topic I’ve always thought about.
Hi Greg! So glad to hear from you here. Regarding your statement and question, “So what I am gathering out of this is that even though God is stronger than my will, He allows my will to override His grace. But can’t His grace, by His sovereignty, overcome my will?” yes and yes. In one sentence, the sovereign Lord can do whatever He pleases, and it pleases Him to give us free will to choose Him over our fallen self / the devil / the world. Absolutely brilliant.
Thanks Deanna. I think about the two thieves on the cross. One saved the other not. I think about Peter and Judas on that night. One saved the other not. God’s grace had to have been available to all four of these individuals but only two accepted. The other two got their will in the way. However God’s grace could’ve saved them. I guess where I’m going is to the predestination and God choosing us. It’s a two sided coin; God’s grace is sovereign on one side, but the other side is the will. Don’t know how this works out. It boggles my mind but then again, God’s ways are not my ways and His ways reign. Praise our Father!
Yes! Excellent examples, the thieves crucified alongside Jesus, and two disciples of Christ, both polar opposites of each other. Thank you for the fellowship, dear brother! Praise God His ways are not our ways, and we cannot contain Him according to our mind’s constructs. First Corinthians chapters 1 and 2 come to mind; those chapters are very dear to this over-educated triple-boarded physician. I praise God for enabling me to receive His Son, for continuing to humble me, and for disciplining me daily with events and persons that my old Adam considers “thorns” and “messengers of Satan.” Oh, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things! I consider them dung (fertilizer), that I may know Christ and be found in Him! Praise God, it is His blessed Son who works in me to will and to act according to His purpose! Hallelujah!